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The Great Northern War
Sunday, 31 July 2016
December 1700
Topic: Battles

Anders Lindehielm sent his next letter to Stockhpolm on 4 December. He reported that no more news had arrived from Narva, but travellers coming from Nyen claimed that Charles XII had pursued the Russians and on 23 November inflcted a heavy defeat on them near Jamo. According to rumours there had been 6,000 Saxons at Narva. They had fought very hard, but most of them were killed. 

According to another rumour the Czar had held a large council of war before invading Ingria. During this meeting his Russian advisors had suggested an attack on Nyen and Nöteborg, but his German officers had voted against. According to them Narva would not be able to hold out very long. Nyen and Nöteborg would then fall more or less automatically, while Narva could serve as protection against the Swedish army. The Czar had been persuaded to choose the latter option, thereby saving Nyen and perhaps even Finland as it gave the Swedish side time to mobilize more forces. According to Lindehielm this fortunate escape clearly demonstrated the need for strengthening Nyen and Viborg. Lindehielm also suggested that the victory at Narva should be followed up by an invasion of Russia and the creation of a buffer against future attacks. The peasants in Viborg county held the same opinion, saying that they would never feel safe within the present borders.

Lindehielm closed by reporting that more troops were passing Viborg on their way to Nyen.

On the 7th Lindehielm wrote a new letter, enclosing an account of the Narva battle which he had received two days before from a man who came from Narva. He could also report a Russian attack near Salmis, where a Swedish officers had been captured and five guard houses been burnt. The garrison commander at Keksholm had requested reinforcements and Lindehielm had forwarded the request to Govenor Vellingk. 27 men of the Life dragoons had arrived at Viborg after having been shipwrecked.

The account of the Narva battle contained the following: the Swedish army had broken camp early on the 20th. At about noon it had reached the field where the Russian camp was. The King had been in overall command, with Rehnskiöld on one flank and Vellingk on the other. The assault began at 2 pm and lasted until after 5. It had been very successful, forcing the Russians back. Some had tried to flee across a bridge, but many of them had drowned. The Czar's most prominent generals, such as the "Prince of Siberia, Knees Dolgoruka and Knees Golowin" had eventually surrendered. General Weide had asked Vellingk for terms and the King had replied that the Russians would be free to go after laying down their arms and promising not to burn or plunder anymore. The Swedes had captured 130 guns and 30 mortars, provisions, ammunition and 150 colours. 

It had been said that the Czar had left 300000 thalers in the Russian camp, but the generals had only handed over 64000. The King had because of this arrested them. Sheremetev had fled before the attack. The victory was enormous, almost impossible to describe. The Swedes had lost 2,000 men, among them Major General Ribbing and Colonel Hans Henrik Rehbinder.

Source: Riksarkivet, ÄK 243, vol. 77. 

Posted by bengt_nilsson at 9:48 PM MEST
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